Sanitation coverage 30 percent in rural and 80 percent in urban areas as per Census 2011
WaterAid India (WAI) welcomes the high level political commitments of the Prime Minister on 15 August 2014 of setting 2019 as a goal to achieve universal access to sanitation. In an effort to support this renewed emphasis on ending sanitation crisis in India and also as a committed sector actor, WaterAid India launched an ‘Interactive Map’ to monitor the gaps in Sanitation in India in a step towards supporting the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
This map is a tool to track the progress made under SBM especially in terms of construction of Individual Household Toilets (IHHL) and community sanitary complexes up to the district level. The Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation baseline survey 2012 and on-going data collection has been used as the data source for this map. This will help track the progress in terms of key gap areas and lagging geographies.
Sanitation coverage is still around 30 percent in rural and about 80 percent in urban areas (as per Census 2011) and the budget allocation remains at 0.04 percent of the GDP in India. People with disabilities, women, girls and socially excluded communities are the worst sufferers of this neglect to sanitation and hygiene. It is in this background, the SBA needs to have accelerated programming and leadership at different levels so as to achieve the status of Open Defecation in India. WAI hopes the map will help accelerating inclusive sanitation coverage.
This year, on the occasion of World Toilet Day, WaterAid India organised a panel discussion at the Press Club of India in New Delhi where esteemed panelists such as Akhila Sivadas, Director – Centre for Advocacy and Research; Payal Hathi, Associate Director – Research Institute for Compassionate Economics, S. K Mahajan – Director (RAY & Monitoring) and OSD, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and Nitya Jacob, Head of Policy – WaterAid India and Mamata Dash, Campaigns Head of WaterAid India presented their views.
The panelists welcomed the launch of Interactive Map and shared their views on the importance of governance and monitoring for an effective implementation of SBM in India. They also drew the attention towards sustainable sanitation and the need to close the loop – from human excreta disposal to management and also solid and liquid waste management. The discussion focused on areas like possibilities that the SBM holds in making India open defecation free by 2019, importance of monitoring and evaluation and the role played by civil society in making India a better place in terms of sanitation.
WaterAid India Chief Executive, Neeraj Jain on the occasion said: “Despite being aware of the harmful effects of poor sanitation on the health of the children, over 59.4 crores people in India lack access to a basic toilet. As we observe yet another World Toilet Day, India continues to have the highest number of under five children dying every year. Majority of them dying of totally preventable and curable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia.Though the government in India has stepped up and committed to providing universal access to toilets by 2019, we as individuals need to realise our responsibilities and work towards securing a healthy future of our kids.”
WaterAid India has also reached out to the health secretaries in 11 states and appealed to them for clean and functional toilet facilities in all health care centres and inclusion and monitoring of indicators on water, sanitation and hygiene under the diarrhoea monitoring protocol to influence policymakers at various levels. In addition, it will be carrying out a range of awareness and advocacy activities across 11 states in order to highlight the urgency of addressing the crisis of sanitation and urging everyone to join the effort.